Mozambique: Rescue Operations Continue In Gaza

MAPUTO, Mozambique (PANA) - At least 2,700 people were rescued from flood waters Monday in the southern Mozambican province of Gaza, according to a Tuesday report on Radio Mozambique.
The report said 2,000 people were picked up in Chibuto district, from the administrative posts of Chaimite and Malehice, which have been isolated by the flood on the Limpopo river, and were moved to safety.

With the aid of three helicopters, a further 700 people were rescued from Guija district.

The flood on the Limpopo is now moving inexorably towards the Gaza provincial capital, Xai-Xai. The peak of the flood was expected to hit the city Tuesday.

Flood relief work also includes the use of South African helicopters to drop food to victims in Buzi and Machanga districts in the central province of Sofala. The beneficiaries are people living in areas that have been cut off by flooding on the Buzi and Save rivers.

Labour Minister Mario Sevene, who is coordinating relief work in Sofala, said the airlift would continue until Wednesday.

The food being distributed, he said, came from stocks held locally by the National Disasters Management Institute and by the UN World Food Programme.

Meanwhile, the Southern Regional Water Board has warned of a fresh surge of water from South Africa, down the Limpopo and Incomati rivers, which is bound to worsen matters still further in Gaza and Maputo provinces. The known death toll in the floods, according to the Maputo daily, Noticias, now stands at 48 - 21 in Maputo province, 14 in Sofala, six in Manica, four in Inhambane, and three in Gaza.

A further 15 people - 10 in Maputo and five in Gaza - are missing, presumed dead.

It is feared that the death toll could rise sharply, once information is gathered from those flood-stricken areas that are currently isolated and without communication.

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